Uruguay is a member of the MERCOSUR (Mercado Comun del Sur, gathering Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay and Uruguay), aimed at creating a free trade zone, a common external tariff and a free circulation zone for goods, services, capitals and persons. Customs duties between member countries were theoretically abolished in 1994, with nevertheless a lot of exceptions, according to the "adaptation regime" (Regimen de adecuacion).
The common external tariff (CET) does ot concern all products, currently: only 75% of the tariff lines benefit from a single tariff. The goods still outside the system, for the 4 countries are: equipment goods, IT, telecommunications, cars and sugar sectors.
The consumer's principal criteria are safety, efficiency and discretion. Nevertheless, he doesn't hesitate to take risks when it comes to food, hygiene products or cleaning products.
Touristic centers have the specificity of having a luxurious consumption. The average consumer is characterized by its conservative behavior.
Multinationals own 75% of big retail chains. The Dico-Devoto is the largest since they own the "Disco" supermarkets (27 stores), "Devoto" (25 stores) and the superstore "Geant".
In terms of importance, these three are followed by the group "Henderson & Cia" with the "Tienda Inglesa" chain (9 stores), the "Multiahorro" chain (30 medium retail stores), "Ta-Ta" (20 small and medium stores), "El Dorado" chain from the "Polakof & Cia" mainly located in the countryside (40 stores, supermarkets and small retail stores)
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Last Updates: October 2014